Today, the first trial for Samsung's Lee Jae-yong, arrested for giving bribes worth 43.3 billion won, will take place in court.
With Park Geun-hye, the recipient of the bribe, also arrested, eyes are on what kind of defense Lee will take.
Lee So-young has more.
Lee Jae-yong, arrested for giving bribes to former President Park Geun-hye and Choi Soon-sil, will appear for trial for the first time in 50 days after his imprisonment.
He is suspected of making large donations and supporting Choi's family in return for helping him with issues like inheriting management rights.
The independent counsel believes that Lee used corporate money to make the donations, and when the Choi Soon-sil scandal broke out, made up a fake equestrian club under Samsung to argue that the money went to the club.
The key issue is whether this was in return for favors, and whether support for Choi, a private citizen, can be considered a bribe.
Lee's representatives are arguing that the donations were made upon being pressured by the Blue House, and no illegal favors were asked for. Also, since Samsung was not aware of the relationship between Park and Choi, their support for Choi's family cannot be considered a bribe for Park.
In contrast, the independent counsel plans to prove, starting from Samsung's support for Chung Yoo-ra's equestrian career, that 43.3 billion won, given or promised to Choi's family, was given in return for business favors, and that Park was involved in it.
Whether Lee will mention his one-on-one meeting with Park, the recipient, in future trials is also of interest.
For Lee, his charges would be made lighter if he were to be acknowledged as a victim of coercion, instead of a briber. Therefore, it is possible that he will reveal specifically what pressures he was put under from the Blue House or Choi.
Lee So-young reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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